The Associations of Historically Black Independent Schools has a rich legacy of self-determination and commitment to educational excellence which is integral to the historical record of self empowerment among people of African ancestry in the US.
It has a 300 year legacy that includes all of the organizations with similar missions founded over the centuries by African American educational entrepreneurs, sometimes in collaboration with the communities they serve, They have designed, established, operated and sustained independent educational options for people of African ancestry. (See history dating back to 1704.)
In so doing, they have provided access, choice, and a diversity of high quality educational options over the centuries. In it's most recent iterations it has been an organization of pre-school, elementary and secondary schools in the private sector, who have a special interest in assuring that all children have access to the highest quality educational options.
There are two known organizations carrying on the rich legacy today: Directors in Support of Children and Families, an outgrowth of the AHBIS founded in the 1990s, which represents over 25 NYC schools. And the Council on Independent Education, which has a national representation. Please contact Dr. Gail Foster at with any information on other organizations not documented on this website. Below is the mission statement from the most recent organization operating under the name of AHBIS.
Mission: We work collaboratively to support the thriving of our schools through advocacy in the local, national, and international arenas.
Activities: We do this through workshops, conferences, advocacy and networking. We engage in such activities toward the aim of increasing the number of excellent educational options available to American school children, and assuring the flow of resources to current and future school founders of African ancestry. In addition to being teachers, we are scholars and griots, collecting data, documenting, researching, and contributing to the literature on both history and best practices in education.
Membership is open to:
African American founders of independent schools
Principals of Historically Black Independent Schools
African American educators who are founders of Nursery and Pre Schools.